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Welding Roll Bars and Tubular chasis

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  • Welding Roll Bars and Tubular chasis

    Hey guys finally got a motorsports question for you! I am planing on building a small off road dune buggy of some type. I am not sure of all the specifics but plan to run about 9HP motor in it or maybe a small bike engine. To ask my question I will first give a little info on my situation. I work out of a small home shop with some decent power tools and have two welding machines HH135 and AC thunderbolt. Now for my question, what type of material would you recomendthis be built from and which of my welding machines should I use. I know TIG is the recomended process but seeing as I am only 16 years of age cash flow is a small problem! I have limited acess to TIG my Tech school good for small things but not this. Any input would be very very helpful as I am new to this whole motorsport thing! Thans and sorry for the long post.

  • #2
    Canuck:

    Since you are talking low power torque bending isn't an issue I would use a mild steel tubing maybe 14ga or .063 this wouldn't be enough for a race car but it would stand up for 30-40 mph and accordingly the abuse. This weight is well within the hh135 mig range.

    For the most important junctions of the cage around the end corners and the ups for the cage I would put in an extra gusset plate and since your talking a small piece of equipment you can position it to the most comfortable and highest penetration welds flat and horizontal.

    I think you have the equipment to do it right but get good at the welds needed before you trust them with your life. Make a few welds on practice pieces and cut them apart look at the inside for inconsistancies and problems. Once your sure the welds are good get after it and have fun, I may preach a little but always safety first.

    Keep us up on the progress

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    • #3
      I am hoping to get started soon but have to get some more time(summer project) and a few pieces of equipment. A local tool store has a pipe and tubing bender for $250 that I am going to get. Just wondering if 12 Gauge tube would be over kill but it might give me the option to put in maybe a 12HP engine. I should still be able to get good welds with my HH135 right?

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      • #4
        Yea the 12ga is good, should be really strong. Remember duty cycle is the number of minutes you can weld in a 10 minute period, just keep it within the machines abilities. You weld a little and fit a little it works great.

        Heads up pipe benders and tubing benders use different size mandrels.
        Pipe is ID, Tube is OD, make sure your getting what you think your getting.

        Your on the right path keep asking questions we are glad to help.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the heads up. I think the bender is mostly for pipe but I will take a piece of tube with me to check the mandrel size. Will I be able to bend if it is an almost perfect fit and would filling the tube with sand help any, Thanks

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          • #6
            If its a good fit alls cool. I don't like the sand trick, I always end up with junk in my welds afterwards. Damp sand is sticky stuff. Check out harbor freight if that bender isn't what you are needing. I've seen one for cheap that used a bottle jack, it was slow but you can't rush the learning process.

            Building multiple parts in mirror reverse for left and right is a precision thing so take your time and get it right. If you do it right at the beginning it will be more fun to drive, and you'll appreciate it more.

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            • #7
              Thanks PJS, the store that I am looking at also has a tool on sale which uses a bottle jack. That kit comes with about 6 dies and is $110 but I already looked at it and it's junk. The other bender I was thinking about is almost identical to the one we have in my tech school shop. It uses a ran and a hand pump and has 8 dies from 1/2" to 3" sch 40 pipe. The price is $250 but I am a pretty good customer and have some store credit so I could get for around $100. Anyway I am rambling so thanks alot for the help and I can't wait to get started!

              P.S. If hawk reads this then thank you for the help with the 1/4" plate it worked pretty good and I will do a few more welds and bend test them at my Tech school. However for safty sake I will stick with well Stick!( Pun very much intened! )

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              • #8
                The Harbor Freight bender is a pipe bender. Tubing benders generally form around a mandrel vs. supporting both ends and displacing the center (as the HF bottle jack thing does). I'm still shopping for a tubing bender myself and they're not cheap. The going rate seems to be near $300 PLUS dies which run about $175 per size (dia x radius). If you go to Williams Lowbuck Tools, there is a page on pipe vs. tubing benders.

                FWIW I'm planning on getting a Hossfeld clone and adding hyraulics to power it.

                Have fun with your kart!

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                • #9
                  you may want to check out www.pro-tools.com

                  I use there bender with the optional hydrualic system. It makes very nice smooth-mandrel-like bends. You can buy just the base model for a few hundred dollars. The dies are a little pricey if you start bending alot of different material. Down the road if you get serious, or just want to make things easier there bender can be upgraded to hydrualic.

                  With my model 105, I have four dies and I've only bent 4130 cromoly:
                  1 5/8 x .083. 6"Radius
                  1 1/2 X .065 6"R
                  1 1/4 X .065, 058. 4 1/2" R
                  1.00 X .065, .058 3" R

                  As a side note: I recently purchased some bending software from Mittler Bros. and it has made my life so easy. I can bend main hoops, and muiltiplane offset bends perfect everytime and repeat my work from my saved files and notes. If you get serious about bending or want to reduce material waste I strongly reccomend getting some type of bending software. I think pro-tools above also sells there version.

                  Good luck.
                  DCRC
                  Miller Dynasty 200DX 4/04
                  Miller Big Window Elite helmet-much better than my old Speedglass 9000X
                  Miller Millermatic 135 06/02
                  Miller Spectrum 375 cutmate 04/03

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